By Liz Siver
May 6, 2010
With all the options available in today’s technology, it seems natural that many companies would take advantage of remote working policies. Remote working, or telework, has many benefits, including reducing the cost of overhead, allowing anytime/anywhere access and promoting a respectable work/life balance. This begs the question: are employers and employees aware of all the benefits remote working can provide, and are they taking advantage of the right technology that streamlines the teleworking process?
Microsoft recently conducted a national survey on the behaviors and attitudes of remote working, polling 3,600 information workers in 36 large-to-midsized cities. The results show that information workers overwhelmingly prefer to work remotely.
Nationally, 62 percent of respondents said they felt they could fulfill their job duties while working remotely. However, 59 percent stated their company does not have a formal remote working policy, suggesting employers do not realize the benefits of teleworking.
Fortunately, there are a variety of solutions to assist employers in implementing a smooth and efficient teleworking arrangement. Some of these solutions include:
-¢ Cloud computing: Accessing programs and applications over the Internet is changing how businesses store and retrieve information. Microsoft’s cloud services, including Exchange and SharePoint Online, are ideal for remote workers, as these programs are easily accessible - allowing the flexibility to retrieve important documents from virtually anywhere.
-¢ Unified communications technologies: Unified communications uses a wide range of devices including audio, video and Web conferencing, and IM to help reduce the lack of in-person barriers that have been at the root of resistance to remote working.
-¢ Security improvements: Using the latest software provides you with increased security. For example, Windows 7 Enterprise comes equipped with an enabling hardware benefit for protection of data on lost or stolen computers with BitLocker and BitLocker to Go Drive Encryption. BitLocker not only prevents a thief from removing and hacking into the hard drive it also detects tampering, locking the system to protect data, files, e-mail, and intellectual property. As an added security measure, BitLocker To Go is available to provide system administrators control over removable storage devices.
By having the right technology to implement a remote working policy, employers are able to take advantage of all teleworking benefits and will be better equipped to promote productivity for their employees.
Liz Siver is the central region market development director for Microsoft based in the Southfield office. Liz has been with Microsoft for more than 10 years and her team manages more than 35,000 partners in the Central Region. For a free guide to starting a remote working program, technology tips and other valuable information, sign-up and visit www.microsoft.com/business/mycenter.